The Fitbit Ionic's first major update adds new apps and watchfaces

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It released the gadget in October with only a few apps to its name - then proceeded to leave the brand new OS alone for nearly two months without a software update.

Fitbit is releasing the first major update to the Fitbit OS software on its flagship Ionic smartwatch today, bringing a host of new apps and watchfaces to the fledging smartwatch platform.

Big names available immediately include Phillips Hue, Yelp, Flipboard, and The New York Times. On the apps side of things, some of the big names include Walgreens, Nest, Philips Hue, Yelp, Flipboard, The New York Times, TripAdvisor, Uber, United Airlines, British Airways, and Lyft. The streaming service is hoping to pick up some new devotees by bringing offline streaming to the watch. There were no apps outside the pre-installed ones available at launch, so this update will finally open the door to more developers.

The Fitbit Ionic's first major update adds new apps and watchfaces

Global customers will gain access to on-device offline music streaming via Deezer, but they'll have to wait until next year.

On top of the list of new apps, Fitbit has included more than 100 new clock faces in this update as well.

Bolstering all of this is the introduction of Fitbit Labs, an initiative from Fitbit's research team that will build out unique, experimental clock faces and apps for Ionic.

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The expanded apps and watch faces will be a nice addition.

Along with these official Fitbit apps and watchfaces, the company is adding a new spread of curated user-created apps to the Ionic, some of which the company is previewing here. The only program available at launch will be a "Pet" clock face that gives users a virtual companion to care for with their step achievements, while other apps like a Mood Log, sport-specific tennis support, and more activity incentive games are expected before the end of the year.

Fitbit is adding some more high-profile apps to its new Ionic smartwatch to better compete against rival devices from Apple, Samsung, and Garmin.

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Jon Oakes, Fitbit's vice president of product, said the update was "just the start" of planned future enhancements.

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